Hounslow Council


Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Carol Stiles Tel: 020 8583 2066 Email:  carol.stiles@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

94.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Decision:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Richard Foote and Councillor Corinna Smart. Councillor Tom Bruce had given apologies for lateness and joined the meeting at 7.23 p.m.

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Richard Foote and Councillor Corinna Smart. Councillor Tom Bruce had given apologies for lateness and joined the meeting at 7.23 p.m.

95.

Minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2017 pdf icon PDF 262 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2017.

Decision:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2017 were confirmed.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2017 were confirmed.

96.

REG 459 -Withdrawal of Funding for the School Crossing Patrol Service pdf icon PDF 387 KB

Report by Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment.

 

Please note that Appendix E – Full Report on all Feedback Received on Consultation – has been published electronically only because of its size.

 

Hard copies are available on request and a reference copy for members will be on deposit in the Members’ Area.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

A)    That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet noted the comments of the report, including the public consultation on the removal of funding for the service.

2.     Cabinet approved withdrawal of Council funding for the School Crossing Patrol Service from July 2017 in order to achieve a saving to the Council’s revenue budget of £160,000.

3.     Cabinet approved provisions for schools to buy back the service from the Council as set out in Section 3 and Appendix B of the report.

 

B)    That separately Cabinet would ask the Traffic team to investigate whether the relevant sites discussed at the meeting met the criteria for alternative crossing options, would work with the relevant schools to look at match funding options to buy back the service and would ask the police to investigate traffic enforcement issues.

Minutes:

See the report by Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment – Agenda Item 3.

 

Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, introduced the report. He spoke of the number of school crossing patrol sites but also of the number which were not filled through vacancy or long term sickness. He also advised of some additional mitigation to assist road safety such as the introduction of a zebra crossing at one site. Councillor Mann reported that the Blue School had already stated that the school would like to buy back the service and this option was offered to all schools as part of the report at a cost of £7k per year.

 

The decision was required to contribute towards the £23.5m funding gap that the Council faced. This had forced the authority to undertake a root and branch investigation of discretionary services to consider where the authority might no longer carry out the function. In the case of the school crossing patrol service this would generate an annual saving of £160k.

 

Councillor Mann referred to the draft service level agreement at Appendix B of the report for those schools wishing to buy back the service. He stressed that the recommendation to remove the Council provision was a matter of funding but that the change would not have been considered if members did not think that there were other mitigating services to assist road safety. Hence there was information on accident rates in the appendices, together with information on staffing. There was also the option of third party funding to buy back a service. Councillor Mann moved the recommendations of the report.

 

The Chair noted that he would not ask for a seconder until members had had the opportunity to hear the petitioners.

 

Three petitioners had been invited to address the meeting. Eileen Sheedy, Head of Isleworth Town Primary School was invited to speak first. She explained that her petition had been submitted after the closure of the consultation. She spoke of the school crossing patrol in St John’s Road which was not currently staffed because of accident and injury. This crossing patrol was two roads away from her school and served children and their families attending the Blue School, St Mary’s RC Primary, Gumley Convent School and Isleworth Town Primary. It had been in place a number of years. Ms Sheedy advised that a number of Year 5 and Year 6 pupils walked to school alone because they had a safe place to cross. This encouraged preparation for the independence of secondary school travel. The crossing patrol also assisted the elderly in the vicinity and parents with children in buggies. Staff at the school had noticed increased traffic recently around the side roads because of the congestion along the Twickenham Road since the Church Street closure. Also Isleworth Town Primary had expanded, increasing from two to four form entry. The school roll was now 914 and would increase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96.

97.

CHAS 534 - Educational Standards in Hounslow 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 619 KB

Report by Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services.

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet noted the Educational Standards outcomes in Hounslow for the 2015/16 Academic Year (Sections 4-9 of the report).

2.     Cabinet noted the comments from the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel who received a report on the Educational Outcomes in 2016 at its meeting in December 2016. (Paragraph 3.5 of the report).

3.     Cabinet noted the budget implications for schools going forward as a result of the Government’s National Funding Formula. (Section 10 of the report).

Minutes:

See the report by Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services – Agenda Item 4.

 

Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, introduced the report which asked Cabinet to note the extremely positive results. The Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel had considered a report on educational outcomes in December and Councillor Samia Chaudhary, Chair of the Panel, had commented that the authority was not doing enough to publicise the excellent work being done. So the results were now being reported to Cabinet and Borough Council.

 

Section 10 of the report in respect of financial details was more concerning given the pressures on the school budgets, significant cuts and uncertainty going forward. This would mean that maintaining the level of performance was a challenge. Nevertheless there was positive news to celebrate about the work in the borough.

 

Councillor Bruce wished to draw attention particularly to paragraph 8.2 of the report which confirmed that the level of achievement of Level 2 for pupils with special educational needs placed Hounslow as the highest performing local authority in England for this group. Councillor Bruce was delighted to bring this news to Cabinet. He wished to thank Alan Adams, the Executive Director, Michael Marks, the Director, and the team for the achievement. He moved the recommendations of the report which were seconded by the Chair.

 

Councillor Theo Dennison welcomed the report and the excellent work which was a credit to the schools, Councillor Bruce as Lead Member and the education team.

 

The Chair advised that the subject of school financing had been raised at a recent London Councils’ meeting. There was unanimity in the concern about the impact on some schools and the threat to educational standards. The Secretary of State’s future approach was not yet known but there was pressure nationally and locally, supported by parents, about the impact of financing arrangements.

 

The recommendations of the report had been moved and seconded. Members considered the report and all the issues and options contained therein and in conclusion the recommendations were agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet noted the Educational Standards outcomes in Hounslow for the 2015/16 Academic Year (Sections 4-9 of the report).

2.     Cabinet noted the comments from the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel who received a report on the Educational Outcomes in 2016 at its meeting in December 2016. (Paragraph 3.5 of the report).

3.     Cabinet noted the budget implications for schools going forward as a result of the Government’s National Funding Formula. (Section 10 of the report).

98.

CEX 139 - Revised Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Policy pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Report by Councillor Kamaljit Kaur, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Services and Councillor Melvin Collins, Vice Chair of the Disability Community Forum.

 

Please note that the full Policy document and Appendices 1 and 2 – have been published electronically only because of their size.

 

Hard copies are available on request and a reference copy for members will be on deposit in the Members’ Area.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet approved the revised ‘Equal Opportunities and Human Rights’ Policy’ and noted the attached Delivery Plan 2017-2021 in Appendix 1 of the report.

Minutes:

See the report by Councillor Kamaljit Kaur, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Services – Agenda Item 5.

 

Councillor Kamaljit Kaur, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Services, introduced the report which sought approval for a revised Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Policy and asked Cabinet to note the delivery plan. The document had been revised to take into account both the new Equalities Act 2010, a range of local changes and recent Government announcements. Local changes included an emphasis on prevention and early intervention, on digitalisation, acknowledgement of disadvantaged ethnic minority communities, the importance of increasing community resilience and a revised and updated residents’ engagement charter. Nationally the policy now reflected updated proposals on equal pay, new research findings on inequality and minority communities, an emphasis on Mental Health Challenge, under which Councillor Kaur was the Champion for the authority, increased numbers accessing adult and children’s social care and a new Government scheme, Disability Confident, concerning disability compliance. There had been consultation with departments, members and the voluntary sector on the policy.

 

Councillor Kaur reminded Cabinet that the Equalities Team consisted of one full time and one part time members of staff. This was a tiny resource for a large amount of work. She thanked Celia Golden and Sarfraz Kherdin for their work and moved the recommendations of the report asking Cabinet to adopt the revised policy.

 

The Chair seconded the recommendations and also noted that the policy would be reported to Borough Council.

 

Councillor John Chatt, Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, noted that the report was also in Councillor Mel Collins’ name as Vice Chair of the Disability Community Forum. Councillor Kaur confirmed that Councillor Collins’ views had been taken on board in the compilation of the policy.

 

Councillor Dennison advised that Councillor Collins had been unable to attend that evening. Councillor Dennison congratulated the team for achieving work of this quality with the limited resource. He welcomed the report and was pleased that it was being taken to Borough Council. He did wish to draw attention to one point. It was noted in the documents that each service could adapt the corporate monitoring report to reflect their own user profile. He felt that this could be problematic, that it was preferable to use the corporate report as this was consistent and protected all service areas. He suggested that it would be reassuring if the Lead Member signed off any variation.

 

Councillor Kaur acknowledged this point but explained that the law allowed for variation which was why the policy had been written in this way. However, for any future revision they might debate whether the corporate report was overriding. Councillor Dennison expressed support for the policy and the legal position but his concern was that as a protection for all there should be intervention at a senior level for any alternative report. Councillor Kaur confirmed that a process of independent scrutiny was in place via the Consultation Advisory Panel and it would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.

99.

REG 391 - Heritage Street Lighting Programme pdf icon PDF 414 KB

Report by Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet agreed the proposed approach to conservation and replacement detailed in Section 4 of the report.

2.     Cabinet agreed that all historical lighting columns and fixtures should be retained, subject to the safety tests as set out in Section 11 of the report.

3.     Cabinet noted that retaining lighting columns was not provided for in the original PFI Contract and may involve a potential risk that may not be acceptable to the Service Provider (Hounslow Highways). Accordingly Cabinet noted that in these cases it may be necessary to De-accrue some apparatus on the lighting network and for the Council to assume responsibility.

4.     Cabinet agreed Option 2 for the replacement of modern ‘heritage style’ light columns with the higher quality DW Windsor lighting column with appropriate fixtures (retaining wherever possible existing unique fixtures and in the case of Half Acre, Brentford, lighting columns).

5.     Cabinet agreed the expenditure of £122, 364 from the Performance Improvement Fund as a one off contribution to the delivery of the heritage lighting replacement programme.

 

Minutes:

See the report by Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment – Agenda Item 6.

 

Councillor Amrit Mann, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, introduced the report. He advised that in producing this report he and officers had listened to a range of representations. He moved the recommendations of the report.

 

These were seconded by the Chair. He thanked Cabinet members and other members working behind the scenes to support Councillor Mann in achieving a pragmatic decision which he felt was beneficial and which he was sure residents would note.

 

Councillor Theo Dennison also thanked Councillor Mann and Richard Hamilton for a quality report. He noted that additional historic lamps had been identified. It was clear in the policy that officers were mindful of historic lights and heritage lampposts. The implementation allowed for flexibility, quality and a sensible approach. For example, a lamp in Chiswick was in an awkward position to be effective and so a double headed lamp was suggested.

 

Councillor Mann advised that there was passionate interest from residents and the Residents’ Forum on this matter. A number of residents and residents’ associations had raised concerns so it was important to say to those residents that the policy was not set in stone and if other options were available officers would look at these. The authority was listening and there was room for flexibility where appropriate.

 

The Chair acknowledged that the current report went a long way to meet residents’ aspirations and the majority in areas such as Isleworth, Heston and Chiswick Mall were happy with the proposals. It was a good report.

 

The recommendations of the report had been moved and seconded. Members considered the report and all the issues and options contained therein and in conclusion the recommendations were agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet agreed the proposed approach to conservation and replacement detailed in Section 4 of the report.

2.     Cabinet agreed that all historical lighting columns and fixtures should be retained, subject to the safety tests as set out in Section 11 of the report.

3.     Cabinet noted that retaining lighting columns was not provided for in the original PFI Contract and may involve a potential risk that may not be acceptable to the Service Provider (Hounslow Highways). Accordingly Cabinet noted that in these cases it may be necessary to De-accrue some apparatus on the lighting network and for the Council to assume responsibility.

4.     Cabinet agreed Option 2 for the replacement of modern ‘heritage style’ light columns with the higher quality DW Windsor lighting column with appropriate fixtures (retaining wherever possible existing unique fixtures and in the case of Half Acre, Brentford, lighting columns).

5.     Cabinet agreed the expenditure of £122, 364 from the Performance Improvement Fund as a one off contribution to the delivery of the heritage lighting replacement programme.

 

100.

CHAS 530 - Housing Revenue Account (HRA) 30 Year Business Plan pdf icon PDF 734 KB

Report by Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Housing.

 

Please note that Appendix 1 – The HRA 30 Year Business Plan- has been published electronically only because of its size.

 

Hard copies are available on request and a reference copy for members will be on deposit in the Members’ Area.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet approved Capital expenditure of £97 million to fully fund the new 5-year Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Works Programme (2017/18 to 2021/22).

2.     Cabinet agreed the revised HRA 30- Year Business Plan, attached as Appendix 1 of the report, which had been updated to take into account recent and proposed national policy and financial changes, and the resulting reductions in HRA income and investment capacity.

3.     Cabinet agreed the allocation of £8 million of S106 housing contributions to the HRA new build programme, in particular, to enable the delivery of Brentford High Street Block D scheme.

4.     Cabinet agreed flexibility to borrow the remaining £8 million of the HRA headroom in order to meet the development of Brentford Block D and fund the purchase of the new housing fleet.

5.     Cabinet agreed a review of Phase 2 of the HRA council housing building programme, with a view to maintaining current levels of new social rented homes, by scaling back the Council’s own house building, whilst seeking delivery partnerships with Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) for building new social rent homes post 2018.

6.     Cabinet agreed a review of current HRA assets to identify those that are suited for disposal to support the payment of the ‘higher value sales’ levy.

7.     Cabinet agreed capital expenditure and borrowing of £3.3 million to finance the renewal of the housing vehicle fleet.

 

Minutes:

See the report by Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Housing – Agenda Item 7.

 

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Housing, introduced the report which sought approval of the updated Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan, of Capital expenditure for the Capital Works Programme, allocation to bring forward the development of Brentford Block D and proposals to progress Phase 2 of the council housing programme through partnership with Housing Associations. Any such partnerships would negotiate 100% nominations from the Housing Register. The recommendations also sought review of the HRA assets in respect of supporting the ‘higher value sales’ levy. The exact requirements of this levy were not yet known but it was likely that the authority would need to sell some properties to fund the levy. The final recommendation concerned financing the housing fleet. Councillor Dunne moved the recommendations. These were seconded by the Chair.

 

Councillor Theo Dennison advised that Hounslow rated 16th in the country for the delivery of affordable homes. The Chair noted that this was positive and thanked Councillor Dunne, Peter Matthew, Director of Housing and his team for their hard work. He advised that there had been an interesting presentation by the Housing team during the Peer Review which he would circulate to all councillors to see to demonstrate the amount of work undertaken by the team. There was much happening with changes in legislation and they would need to monitor the position to ensure that it was acceptable to the borough.

 

The recommendations of the report had been moved and seconded. Members considered the report and all the issues and options contained therein and in conclusion the recommendations were agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet approved Capital expenditure of £97 million to fully fund the new 5-year Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Works Programme (2017/18 to 2021/22).

2.     Cabinet agreed the revised HRA 30- Year Business Plan, attached as Appendix 1 of the report, which had been updated to take into account recent and proposed national policy and financial changes, and the resulting reductions in HRA income and investment capacity.

3.     Cabinet agreed the allocation of £8 million of S106 housing contributions to the HRA new build programme, in particular, to enable the delivery of Brentford High Street Block D scheme.

4.     Cabinet agreed flexibility to borrow the remaining £8 million of the HRA headroom in order to meet the development of Brentford Block D and fund the purchase of the new housing fleet.

5.     Cabinet agreed a review of Phase 2 of the HRA council housing building programme, with a view to maintaining current levels of new social rented homes, by scaling back the Council’s own house building, whilst seeking delivery partnerships with Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) for building new social rent homes post 2018.

6.     Cabinet agreed a review of current HRA assets to identify those that are suited for disposal to support the payment of the ‘higher value sales’ levy.

7.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 100.

101.

LAM 002 - Lampton 360 Quarter 3 Performance pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Report by Peter Large, Head of Governance.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet noted the Quarter Three report for the Lampton 360 Group.

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

See the report by Peter Large, Head of Governance – Agenda Item 8.

 

Peter Large, Head of Governance, introduced the report which came to Cabinet in their capacity as shareholder of Lampton 360. There was commitment to a quarterly monitoring report of which this was the first.

 

Councillor Katherine Dunne considered that the reference to a £3.6m overspend by the DLO was misleading in the way it was written. It was not overspend but related to the operation of an internal trading account to balance costs versus income. So it was an internal accounting mechanism which would end this year as responsive repairs and planned maintenance work were separated.

 

Councillor John Chatt, Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, drew attention to a point which Councillor John Todd had questioned in respect of the role of Overview and Scrutiny with Lampton 360. He thanked Councillor Todd for bringing it to his attention. It concerned the comment in the Governance Overview of the report stating that the Group Managing Director and Business Managing Directors had had one meeting with the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Chatt wished to make clear that this was an informal meeting with no minutes taken and so in his view did not form part of formal governance overview. He stressed that this could not replace formal Lampton 360 reports to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and that it was important to clarify the relationship between Lampton 360 and the Scrutiny role, especially as the Leader had confirmed that he wanted Overview and Scrutiny Committee to monitor Lampton 360.

 

The Chair confirmed his support for Overview and Scrutiny’s monitoring role to ensure that the authority got the best value from Lampton 360 but saw no issue in holding both public and informal meetings. He considered the statement in the report a statement of fact as a meeting had taken place. He noted that it would be helpful to clarify the purpose of the meeting. However, he also reported that the recent Peer Review had expressed concern about the risk of over-controlling of Lampton 360, so there would be criticisms of increased governance.

 

Brendan Walsh, Executive Director, apologised if the meeting and comment had been misconstrued and confirmed that Lampton 360 wished to have positive engagement with Overview and Scrutiny Committee to ensure that all was done appropriately.

 

Councillor Theo Dennison commented on the absence of metrics in the performance information and felt that this would benefit from further work. He considered that a key part of governance was for Overview and Scrutiny Committee to have ready access to Lampton 360 and for opportunities for scrutiny to be pursued.

 

Members were asked to note the report and moved and seconded the recommendation accordingly. Members considered the report and all the issues and options contained therein and in conclusion the recommendations were agreed unanimously.

 

 

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet noted the Quarter Three report for the Lampton 360 Group.

 

 

 

 

102.

CEX 148 - Monthly Financial Monitoring pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Report by Councillor Theo Dennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Citizen Engagement.

Decision:

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet noted the following:

 

a)    Revenue Outturn Position;

·       A net overspend of £5.6m is currently projected on General Fund budgets.

·       Projected funding shortfall for Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) is £1.2m (paragraph 4.2 of the report) which will need to be covered by the DSG reserve.

·       Projected underspend of £0.17m on the Housing Revenue Account (paragraph 4.3 of the report).

·       2.95% of 2016/17 approved revenue savings are currently delayed and 20.00% are currently at risk of not being achieved in the current financial year (paragraph 4.5 of the report).

   

b)    Projected Capital Programme Spend for 2016/17 is £119.0m in 2016/17 (as detailed in Appendix B of the report).

c)     Update on the Council’s Treasury Management activity against approved strategy (paragraph 6.1 of the report).

d)    Summary of bad debts totalling £0.96m awaiting approval to be written off (paragraph 7.1 of the report).

e)    An update on the Council’s performance against the key corporate financial indicators (paragraph 8.1 of the report).

 

Minutes:

See the report by Councillor Theo Dennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Citizen Engagement – Agenda Item 9.

 

Councillor Theo Dennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Citizen Engagement, introduced the report. He noted the projected overspend which would be offset by corporate items. He referred to budgetary pressures in areas such as the DSG, ICT and SEN Transport. These were key areas of Council endeavour which they tried to keep in budget without damaging vital services. He was pleased to note that the Treasury Management report was £20m in the black. The recent Peer Review was satisfied with the robustness of the financial position and Councillor Dennison congratulated the Finance team on an excellent job to address variance and bring the accounts in order. He moved the recommendations of the report.

 

The Chair seconded the recommendations and thanked Clive Palfreyman, Director, Finance and Corporate Services, and his team, together with Cabinet members, for all the ongoing work on budgets.

 

The recommendations of the report had been moved and seconded. Members considered the report and all the issues and options contained therein and in conclusion the recommendations were agreed unanimously.

 

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet agreed the recommendations of the report as follows:

 

1.     Cabinet noted the following:

 

a)    Revenue Outturn Position;

·       A net overspend of £5.6m is currently projected on General Fund budgets.

·       Projected funding shortfall for Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) is £1.2m (paragraph 4.2 of the report) which will need to be covered by the DSG reserve.

·       Projected underspend of £0.17m on the Housing Revenue Account (paragraph 4.3 of the report).

·       2.95% of 2016/17 approved revenue savings are currently delayed and 20.00% are currently at risk of not being achieved in the current financial year (paragraph 4.5 of the report).

   

b)    Projected Capital Programme Spend for 2016/17 is £119.0m in 2016/17 (as detailed in Appendix B of the report).

c)     Update on the Council’s Treasury Management activity against approved strategy (paragraph 6.1 of the report).

d)    Summary of bad debts totalling £0.96m awaiting approval to be written off (paragraph 7.1 of the report).

e)    An update on the Council’s performance against the key corporate financial indicators (paragraph 8.1 of the report).

 

103.

Urgent Business

Any business which the Chair agrees to accept on grounds of urgency.

Decision:

There was no urgent business.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

104.

Date of next meeting: 18 April 2017

Decision:

The date of the next meeting was noted as 18 April 2017.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was noted as 18 April 2017.